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TitleEnvironmental geochemistry of the lake sediments in vicinity of the Athabasca Oil Sands operations in Alberta, Canada
AuthorSanei, H; Stanners, F; Mayer, B; Savard, M; Carrie, J
Source9th ISEG - International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry: abstract volume; 2012 p. 141
LinksAbstract - Résumé
LinksComplete Volume / Volume complet (html)
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170152
PublisherSociety for Environmental Geochemistry and Healt
Meeting9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry; Aveiro; PT; July 15-21, 2012
DocumentWeb site
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaAthabasca region
Subjectswater geochemistry; environmental impacts; environmental studies; isotopic studies; biogeochemistry; lakes; Alberta oil sands
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience, Coal & Oil Resources Environmental Sustainability
AbstractAlberta Oil Sand reserves are estimated at 1.7 to 2.5 trillion barrels of heavy hydrocarbon trapped in the complex oil sand mixture, and this constitutes the largest single reserve of oil the world. Alberta Oil Sand plays major role in economical development of Canada and United States. However, recently the environmental concern over the developments and exploitation of the oil sand resources has come under
immense environmental scrutiny. As part of a major environmental assessment research in vicinity of the oil sand operations, this study examines the aerial dispersion of metals, carbon, sulphur, and nitrogen in the lake sediment archives in the surrounding area.
The main objective of the study is to fingerprint the spatial impact of the oil sand operations in the surrounding environment, particularly aquatic systems and distinguishing the natural background from an anthropogenic input. Stable isotope geochemistry of C, N, S as well as organic carbon speciationusing Rock-Eval analysis was conducted to infer environmental changes throughout the sediment records. Also spatial and temporal variations of mercury as the most important elements of environmental concern, have been used to investigate the aerial distribution and deposition of this metal in the environment. This study reports the difficulties of using C, N, S stable isotopes in fingerprinting the emissions. It appears that biological activities overprint any possible emission signals. Also biogeochemistry of mercury in relation with distribution of organic matter within the alkes will be discussed.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Environmental Geochemistry of the lake sediments in vicinity of the Athabasca Oil Sands